Membership marketing

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Membership marketing
Membership marketing
There are additional challenges owing to AARP's nonprofit status. “We must balance a commercial ben­efit with something non-commercial.,” says Sharon Kirk, alternative media channel manager at AARP. “Our offer isn't the typical check in the mail offer. We have to be much more sophisticated about what how we deliver, how we buy the media, and what we offer.”

Kirk says she is drawn to insert media because she likes the chal­lenge of testing many different tactics and trying to find options to improve results. “There isn't one answer or one solution. If we run into a problem, we can try a blow-in, shared mail — many different things. We're using modeling, we're trying newspapers, and developing cadence strategies,” she says.

AARP's three membership publi­cations previously hosted member­ship acquisition advertising as well as bind-ins and blow-ins. But there's not much room left for in-house marketing inside the organization's magazines these days.

“We're a victim of our own suc­cess,” Leon laughs. “But when a membership is about to expire, we'll wrap the publication with a reminder, ‘Renew now!' The magazine is a very tangible member benefit; it's part of our calling.”

Leon, who spent 10 years at AOL before joining AARP in 2005, says she enjoys being involved in further­ing AARP's mission,

“This audience is expanding faster than any other group, and it's excit­ing to reach that market with what could be life-changing opportunities,” she says.

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